Gunmen kill two Shiite Muslims in SW Pakistan

July 22, 2013 - 2:38:07 pm
QUETTA, Pakistan: Gunmen opened fire Monday on a taxi in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, gripped by a wave of sectarian bloodshed, killing two people from the minority Shiite community, police said.
 
The attack came on the busy Iqbal avenue in Quetta, the capital of insurgency-hit Baluchistan province, where a recent surge in sectarian unrest has killed scores of Shiites.
 
"The driver and a passenger boarding taxi cab, both were Shiite. They died after unknown gunmen fired at their car," Fayyaz Sumbal, a senior police official in Quetta told AFP.
 
He said the two attackers were waiting for the taxi to arrive at the busy avenue and escaped on a motorbike after spraying bullets at the vehicle. 
 
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group officially banned by the government in 2002 usually claims responsiblity for attacks on Shiite Muslims.
 
Baluchistan is a flashpoint for sectarian violence between Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites, who account for 20 percent of the country's 180 million population.
 
The province bordering Iran and Afghanistan is also rife with Islamist militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural resources. (AFP)
 
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